TO : All Salsa Dancers and Night Club Patrons
FROM: Jake,
RE : Musician Appreciation
DATE: November 14, 2004, updated March 12, 2005

Over the last 12 years, I've spent a LOT of time in nightclubs and other Salsa venues. Most of the places I go have live music and I'm familiar with many of the musicians. Recently, during a break at Cocomo, I walked out to the patio and was approached by a member of the band performing that night at the club. He asked if I could help him get the message out about appreciating the musicians that work so hard to make music for us. The message was not a surprise to me. I religiously applaud every band when they are performing. Not all of the music played moves me the same way and there are certainly bands and songs that I prefer over others. But I appreciate the effort the musicians make and the hard work - at typically modest pay - they undertake for 3 sets/night to make us energized and get us dancing.So here is the message. Show some appreciation! Some bands "work" the crowd and ask for applause, but it really should not be necessary. These guys have studied their craft for years as musicians, and it is not easy to play long into the night and feel inspired to make music. This is not to say they don't love what they do. The mere fact that they play long hours and DO what they do is proof that the musicians love the thrill, the art, and the energy of music. But one aspect of this that you may not realize is that the members of a band feed back energy they get from us. The musician that flagged me down was quite clear about this, and any performer knows this as well. The more energy they get from the audience, the more they put into the performance. So, realize that even your polite applause will get paid back with dividends in the way the musicians perform for you. Give something to them and get something back. Same for teachers, same for D.J.s or even your own dance partner. It is all a two way street...

The magic that happens at the club depends on many things. A band playing in an empty hall won't sound the same as they will in front of a live audience. A teacher teaching dance to 2 people won't have the same energy as one teaching 100 people. Dancing doesn't have the same feel when there are just a few people in the club. We all come together to contribute in our own ways to make the magic happen. Recognizing this by befriending your musicians, DJs, dance partners and bartenders makes it all "family". That family flavor is what differentiates Salsa from every other type of music out there. Be a part of it...Preferences for which band/DJ plays should be directed to the club management. But whenever musicians play for you, give them more than silence at the end of a number. It just takes flapping those two hands together a little between dances!


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A memo on Music Appreciation